If you have a single criminal charge you can be turned away at the US Border, even if the charge has been withdrawn, dismissed, stayed, conditional or absolute discharged.
Each day we receive many phone calls from Canadians who are in shock that they have been turned away at the US Border because of old and small criminal charges. They may have entered the US many times in the past without incident but it just takes one customs officer to decide to run a criminal check and they you will be denied.
Once denied entry to the US you need a US Entry Waiver (I-194, I-192) to re-enter the US. The process to get the waiver is costly and takes time.
If you have not been denied entry to the US, you may obtain a Canada Pardon first, then try crossing the US border as its unlikely they will see the criminal record once pardoned.
The following article recently published in the Montreal Gazette, highlights the issues with crossing the US Border with a criminal record, its titled “Job or not, you can’t buy your way past Canadian Border Control”:
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-929-6011 or 416-929-6011.